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Israel 14, Romney 12, Us 8, America 6, Smith 5, United States 5, Chris Matthews 3, Joe Biden 3, Iran 3, New York 3, Washington 3, Taylor 2, Matthew Lee 2, Andrew Cuomo 2, Al Smith 2, Biden 2, Un 2, Mitt Romney 2, Benedict 2, Michelle 2,
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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    October 19, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00am EDT  

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we are at the moment, perhaps. that is, of course, an aside. [laughter] i am not propagating it at the moment. what i would like to say is this -- i think jordan is going through a difficult time. i think that the king is handling this situation very capably. i would like to mention that traditionally the kingdom of jordan is always, both himself and his father -- who i knew and with whom i had a long- lasting relationship of several years -- was always jockeying a position. jordan is now under extreme pressure from the north, as well. the overflow of refugees into jordan has been a problem.
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after desert storm, there was a flow of refugees from the gulf states to jordan. after the iraq second war, there was a big flow from iraq into jordan. now there has been a flow of syrian refugees into jordan. jordan is not such a big country that it can serve such a large influx of refugees. it is also a complicated issue, and on top of all that, as you probably will all recall, on several occasions there have been large groups of palestinians that have moved into jordan as a result of both the war of independence and the war of 1967. jordan, having all of that on its shoulders, one has to compliment the leadership in jordan of handling the situation so capably. i think given the resilience of the regime at the moment, i think there is a good chance that the regime will overcome the current problems, and
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certainly israel values the relationship with jordan immensely. the largest -- the longest border israel has with an arab states is with jordan. many years have gone by -- this was a border which was the source of constant terrorist activity, which was conducted across the border into israel. this has now stopped. it is the most peaceful border we have today. we hope it stays there. i said the most peaceful border -- although we have one more line which is also a line which has been relatively peaceful, and that has been the disengagement line between us and syria, which has lasted since 1974 to today. 38 years? 38 years of a line, which we have preserved the road to peace -- i think that is a big achievement for both sides. >> yes.
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>> hi, my name is julie. i am here with human events. thank you for your time today. i am wondering what you make of the fact that the main suspect in last year's iranian plot to assassinate the saudi ambassador to the united states pled guilty in a u.s. court yesterday. what does this maybe say about what the iranian government is willing to do? >> well, it did not need this particular case in order to prove once again that the iranians have been involved in terrorist activities against persons, against states, against countries for a long period of time. iran uses terrorism as a major tool of its international relations. it is as simple as all that. iran has plotted against others as well, individuals as well, and has also been shipping arms and equipment into areas inside
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the middle east. syria is one case now in point. there is an iranian force -- iranian forces are battling on syrian soil against syrians. there are iranians that have been in lebanon for quite some time and who have been handling equipment in lebanon, which has been of a great danger to israel. iran has used the state of sudan as an area through which they could send equipment through sudan to egypt to send that into the gaza strip. as i said, the case itself is a case. it shows the audacity of certain iranians. i think it also shows that the iranians, in addition to talking to them, must be told in
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no uncertain terms by actions taken, and by actions of the u.s. government, that certain types of conduct will never be tolerated. >> diane from the middle east institute wants to know what your assessment is of prime minister netanyahu's public announcement or desire for red lines with respect to iran? >> i was hoping i would not be asked that question. i must admit that i understand the desire of the prime minister to draw a line. both substantively and figuratively -- i think his
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appearance at the united nations general assembly was a very successful appearance in terms of the quality of his delivery, and also, i would say a convincing argument he made. generally speaking, we have very bad experiences with red lines. israel has drawn red lines on almost any issue you can imagine over the years. we have drawn red lines on our relationships with the palestinians. we have drawn red lines on our relations with other countries. afterwards, we have sometimes had a problem with reconciling our decisions with the red lines we have placed. i think the use of red lines creates clarity on the one hand, but also creates a commitment that not always can be met. therefore, i personally felt
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that the use of red line is not conducive to the ultimate aim. as i said previously in the opening remarks, i do not think that we will benefit from bringing iran publicly to its knees. i think we need to find a way in which we can obtain the desired result, and enable them also to feel that they have -- in certain areas, they have gained something beyond the simple removal of sanctions. i do not think that ultimately drawing the red line will
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convince the iranians. i think that will affect -- i think what will convince the iranians is a mixture of both practical means in order to make it clear to them beyond any doubt whatsoever that the world will not accept a nuclear military capability -- that is number one. on the other hand, the world is willing to address some of the concerns of iran in one way or the other. iran is going to have a difficult problem. i do not commiserate with the iranians. do not misunderstand me. i'm not here to plead their cause in any way whatsoever. there are two things -- not one thing -- that the iranians will have to come to terms with. there will have to come to terms with the absence of military nuclear capability, and they will have to come to terms with the existence of the state of israel.
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their refusal to accept the right of a sovereign state, a member of the united nations, as a viable state, as a state which is legitimate, is unacceptable from any point of view, from any aspect of any angle whatsoever. we cannot accept that the iranians would be allowed to delegitimize another state, whichever it is, and certainly from our point of view, not israel. ultimately, the iranians will have to swallow two bitter pills, and not one. one pill will be the one of the nuclear threat, and the other will be the pill of accepting israel's right to exist. despite all the rhetoric which we are listening -- we are hearing from tehran, i believe that many iranians in places of power understand that israel is here to stay.
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they realize that israel is not going to disappear, as it will not disappear. therefore, they will have to come to terms with this reality. these two elements means to say that in order to achieve the aim, you have to find ways giving them -- what did i say a few minutes ago -- to resolve other issues with dignity. it is a difficult thing to do. it is very difficult. i am not saying it is going to be easy, but i think this is something we have to do, because we have to look at these things positively. we have to find a positive way to deal with the situation the way it is. i had a teacher a great many years ago who always used to say to me, think positively, and i did not always understand what he meant. i am beginning to understand in my latter years what this is all about.
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>> i think we have time for one more question. yes. wait for the microphone. you're the last questioner. >> thank you. hi, my name is whitney. i am with fox news. i was just wondering, in your assessment, what is the current relationship between the administration and the israeli government? do you think israel could militarily strike iran's nuclear program, and would there be support for unilateral action? >> three-fer. >> i was afraid you're going to ask me for a list of targets. [laughter]
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i think that the relationship between the administration and israel has been a very good one. i say this despite the various bumps along the road. we never had a perfect relationship with israel and the united states. that i can tell you. we had times when we were faced with very, very severe actions taken against us by american administrations. in 1956, russia and america teamed up to issue a joint ultimatum to israel to withdraw from sinai after the sinai campaign. this was at the height of the cold war. maybe it was an israeli achievement that we brought khrushchev together with eisenhower, but nevertheless, it was a painful experience. [laughter] i do not want to cite other cases at this particular point because i do not want to ruffle feelings around this table on the eve of an american election.
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the fact of the matter is, we have had all kinds of relationships, and i judge this by the facts. in the last four years, we have had a relationship with the united states on the practical issues that are important to israel the likes of which we have never had almost with any other administration. i say almost, and i do not want to compare this, that, or the other, or i will get into too much trouble than i already have this morning. ok? you have asked me about a strike. i am on the record as saying that i think a strike should not only be the last resort, but we should realize what would be the possible results of a strike. there is also a morning after, not only in terms of how long or how far this strike will achieve the desired aim. let's imagine that we will strike, and we will obliterate
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the entire iranian capability. ok? what does this mean the morning after? suddenly, the sun will shine and everybody will be happy and the iranians will say, we get the message now, and now we are going to sit in peace and drink iranian tea together? no, i do not think so. i believe a strike is the last resort. the greatest achievement in any war, as an ancient chinese strategist sun tzu said, is a war which is won without firing one shot. i think our aim should be winning the war without firing a shot. how to do it, sanctions, more
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sanctions, and many other things. the fact of the matter is that sanctions have not broken and put an end to the program, but sanctions are hurting very much. the fact of the matter is that many of the people who are saying that sanctions will not succeed are also those who are stridently demanding that there be more and more sanctions. there is a contradiction in this, because if you do not believe sanctions will be successful, why press for more sanctions? i believe that sanctions are effective, not effective enough yet. there has to be a combination, a combination of two things. i do not believe ultimately that whatever is going to happen in the end -- it will not be a clear-cut decision which will
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emerge -- it will be a blurred situation for a little while. just as after the cuban missile crisis -- i have been reading about this in recent weeks -- the exact contours of what actually was agreed to resolve the crisis only emerged after some time. key elements of the story just begin to emerge in 34 years. i would settle for all kinds of arrangements in which the ultimate solution was a solution that was reached, and yes, we're benefiting from the fact that the iranians are no longer pursuing -- what exactly do the iranians get, what exactly do we get, will emerge after some time. there are ways of doing this. if we did it with the cuban missile crisis, maybe we could do it here as well. i'm not saying you can, but i am saying that it could be tried. i think there are many things which have not been tried yet. that is my contention. i believe in the months to
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come, this has to be tried, and tried with an immense investment of good will of trying to get a solution. i think it has to be done. it has the people who are solution-oriented, not a war- oriented. >> thank you. please join me in thanking our guest. >> on "washington journal this
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morning, we focus on the presidential candidates with matthew lee and guy taylor. we will speak with a professor jonathan turley. alan simpson will defend the electoral college. we will speak to a policy analyst with bloomberg government. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. >> with the focus on presidential debates, c-span is asking students to send a message to the president. this is part of the student cam documentary series. all for a chance to win the
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grand prize of $5,000. c-span student cam competition is open to grades 6-12. >> president obama and mitt romney spoke last night at the al smith dinner last night. this is 40 minutes. >> thank you. i hope you all enjoy your meal. first off, i would like to say that henry kissinger is up here on the stage. [applause] he told me it is his favorite
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dinner. we have many distinguished guests tonight. governor andrew cuomo is here. [applause] the governor is working on some material for his 2016 announcement dinner speech. [laughter] i noticed he gets closer and closer to the podium every year. just like jaws. [laughter] charles schumer is here. [laughter] there was recently a story in the paper about him playing matchmaker among his staff. 12 marriages have resulted. chuck has stopped trying to work across the aisle. he is pushing them down the
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aisle. [laughter] congratulations, not for the matchmaking, but for getting the attention in one of the sections of "the new york times" that does not already cover you. [laughter] chris matthews is here. [applause] as you know, msnbc's motto is lean forward. if you leave -- lean forward when chris was talking, you will go death. -- deaf. [applause] i want to raise my glass to mayor blumberg. -- bloomberg.
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a lot of people have gotten angry at the mayor's decision to ban its sugary drinks. this is an issue of deep personal significance in the mayor. he almost drowned in a big gulp. [laughter] how was it going over there? last but not least, we have governor mitt romney and president obama. [applause] you both look so dashing. or as you call it, governor, business-casual. [laughter] i have been doing this for 25
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years. i never run out of good things to say about al smith. i am talking about myself in the third person. my great-grandfather got into politics for a very simple reason. he liked people, rich people, poor people, democrat, native- born, democrat, republican, maker, or taker, al smith was a friend to all. [applause] drought his public life, he was a champion, and untiring advocate for the needy. as you all know, my great- grandfather was a catholic nominee for president. mitt romney is the first mormon nominee for president.
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[applause] my great-grandfather and it romney have another thing in common. for example, they both campaigned for governor. as democrats. [laughter] their biggest adversaries were successful businessman. for my great-grandfather, it was herbert hoover. for my road, it was mitt romney. -- for mitt romney, it was my rope. romney. [laughter] he is a very generous man. every year, he gives 10% of his
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income to charity. [laughter] [applause] knott's fast. [laughter] seriously, i have seen governor romney's de generosity to his church. i must confess. we invited him here to convert. [laughter] [applause] really, governor, your father was from mexico and you have five kids. are you sure you are not catholic? [applause]
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mr. president, you are not getting a free pass tonight. we arcs -- we are excited to have you here tonight. almost as excited as we were in 2008. although the catholic church does so president obama a. debt of gratitude. jesus taught us if it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of debt -- of heaven. say what you will about the economy. mr. president, it will be a lot easier for a lot more people to get into heaven. [applause] we recognize you have some
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challenges this year. it is never could when your opponent has produced more sums than you have jobs. i am pretty sure that number is accurate. paul ryan gave it to me. he is such an effective attack dog, i am worried governor romney might strap him on the roof of a car. of course, president obama wishes he could put joe biden on a car, too. the amtrak quiet car. [laughter] all kidding aside, one way both got us a ride are makig t -- both are making this a historic election is to have a roman
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catholic on both sides of the ballot. that is worth applauding. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, we get to hear from a man. i am pleased to present the 2012 republican nominee for president, governor mitt romney. [applause] >> thank you.
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thank you so much. your eminence, cardinal, mr. president, governor, mayor bloomberg, senator, al and ann smith, thank you for your invitation and your warm welcome. i appreciate your friendship very much. thank you. [applause] al, you are right. a campaign can require a lot of wardrobe changes. cuisines in the morning, suits for a lunch fund raiser, a sport coat for dinner. it is nice to finally relax and wear what we wear around the house. [applause] i am glad to join in this
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tradition. i am pleased the president is here. we were chatting this evening. it was like tuesday night never happened. i was hoping the president would bring joe biden along this evening because he will laugh at anything. [applause] this is not a night for serious politics. it's nice to see president obama and the cardinal despite their differences. i am sure the cardinal has no hard feelings and we will get an indication of that to see if the president's wine will turn into water.
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or if my water turns into wine. i am pleased to see the governor, already being talked about to be high office. he may be getting ahead of himself. the man has put in one term as a governor, he has a father who was a governor, and he thinks that was enough to run for president. [laughter] [applause] we are down to the final months of the president's term. [laughter] [applause] as president obama surveys the waldorf banquet room with everybody in white ties, you have to wonder what he is thinking. so little time, so much to redistribute. [applause]
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do not be surprised if the president mentions the monthly jobs support where there was a slight improvement in the numbers. he knows how to seize the moment. the already has a compelling new campaign slogan. you are better off now than you were four weeks ago. [applause] with or without all the dignitaries that are here, the al smith had dinner lives up to its billing. usually when i get invited to dinners like this, i am the designated driver. [applause] your kind hospitality tonight gives me a chance to convey my deep and long held respect for the catholic church. i have special admiration for the apostle saint peter, to whom it was set up on this rock
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i will build my church. the story is all the more inspiring when you consider he has so many skeptics at the time who would say, if you have a church, you did not build that. [applause] only 19 days ago until the finish line. the campaign is full of surprises and the debates are exciting. we had a very fun debate the other night. candy crowley was there. people are curious how we prepare for the debates. here is what i do. first, refrained from out -- refrain from alcohol. then find a straw man, and merciless attack. big bird did not see it coming. in the spirit of sesame street, the president's remarks tonight are brought to you by a letter
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"o" and the number $16 trillion. [applause] the campaign will be grueling, exhausting, and president obama are each lucky to have one person always in our corners, someone we can lean on, someone who is a comforting presence. i have my beautiful wife, he has bill clinton. [applause] we got a big dose of weeks biden charm. i heard from the federal election commission. from now on, whenever he appears on tv, there is a recording of me afterwards that
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says, "i am mitt romney, and i approve this message." [laughter] rules of fairness. i never suggest the press is biased. they have their job to do and i have mine to do. my job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country and their job is to make sure nobody finds out about it. [applause] let's just say some in the media have a certain way of looking at things. when i suddenly pulled ahead in the major polls, the headlines were, obama is leading from
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behind. [laughter] i have already seen early reports from tonight's dinner. headline, obama and priced by catholics. romney dodges rich people. [laughter] [applause] the president has put his own stamp on relations with the church. there have been awkward moments. like when the president pulled pope benedict aside. he said, whatever the problem is, just blame it on john paul ii. [applause] the president has found a way to take a sting out of the mandates for the church. they will be in latin.
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we have fundamental unsound principles that guide us. he and i feel the pressures and tensions of a close contest. it would be easy to let a healthy competition give way to the personal and petty. fortunately, we do not carry the burden of disliking each other. the president has some very fine and gracious moments. our 44th president has many gifts and a beautiful family that would make any man proud. [applause] in our country, you can oppose someone in politics and make a competent case against their politics without any ill will. that is how it is for me. there is more to life and politics. you show this in the work you
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do. the work goes on day in and day out in this organization. you answer with calmed, and willing hearts. in service for poor and care for the sick. to help an innocent child who is going to be born. [applause] i do not presume to have all of your support. on a night like this, i will not ask for it. you can be certain that in the great causes of compassion that you come together to embrace, that i stand proudly with you as an ally and friend. god bless you all and god bless
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the united states of america. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen, there is only one way to introduce our next speaker. the president of united states of america, barack obama. [applause] >> thank you.
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thank you. thank you so much. thank you. everyone please take a seat or clint eastwood would yell at them. [laughter] thank you to al, your eminence, governor, senator, mayor bloomberg, all the distinguished guests here. in less than three weeks, voters will decide this incredibly important election. it begs the question, what are we doing here? [laughter]
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new yorkers also have a big choice to make. you have to decide which one of us you want holding up traffic for the next four years. [laughter] tonight, i am here with a man whose father was a popular governor who could very well be president someday. i am hoping it is andrew cuomo. [applause] this is the third time governor romney and i have met recently. as some of you have noticed, i have a lot more energy in our second ave. i felt well rested after a nice long that i had during the first debate. -- long nap i had during the first debate. [laughter] [applause]
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it turns out millions of americans focused on the second debate, who did not focus on the first debate. i happen to be one of them. i want to apologize to chris matthews. four years ago, i gave him a hit to the leg. this time, i gave him a stroke. there are a lot of things i learned from that experience. for example, i learned that there are worse off -- worse things that can happen to you on your anniversary than forgetting to buy a gift. when or lose, this is my last political campaign. i am trying to drink it all in. unfortunately, mayor bloomberg will only let me have 16 ounces.
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[laughter] that is okay. i am still having -- making the most of my time. i went shopping in the stores in midtown. i understand governor romney went shopping for some stores in midtown. [laughter] [applause] it brought back great memories. some of you know i went to school here in new york. i had a wonderful experience here. [applause] i used to love wafting through central park -- walking through central park, going to yankee stadium. you really did not build that. i hope everybody is aware of that. [applause] it has been four years since i was last at the al smith dinner.
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things have changed. i have heard people say i am not as young as i used to be. where is that golden smile? where is that pep in your step? i say, settle down, joe, i am trying to run a campaign. [applause] he does smile when he says it. tomorrow, it is back to campaigning. the cities across our great country. i hear the same thing everywhere i go. we were hoping to see michelle. i have to admit it can be a grind. sometimes it feels like this race has drag on forever. paul ryan assured me we have only been running for two hours and 50 something minutes. [applause]
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the economy is on everybody's minds. i do not have a joke here. i thought it would be useful to remind everybody. we are getting to that time where folks are making up their minds. the other day, i was endorsed. that is a big relief. [laughter] tonight is not about the disagreements governor romney and i may have. it is what we have in common, beginning with our unusual names. mitt is his middle name. i wish i could use my middle name. [applause]
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even though we are enjoying ourselves tonight, we are thinking ahead to our final debate on monday. i am hoping governor romney and i will have a chance to answer the question on the minds of millions of americans watching at home. is this happening again? monday's debate will be different. the topic is foreign policy. spoiler alert -- we got bin laden. [applause] world affairs are a challenge for every candidate. some of you guys remember after my foreign trip in 2008, i was attacked class as a celebrity because i was so popular with our allies. i am impressed with how well governor romney has avoided that problem. [applause]
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just so everyone knows, in our third debate, we will not spend a whole lot of time interrupting each other. we will also interrupt the moderator just to mix things up. finally, let me say i have been doing some thinking. i have decided for our final debate, i have to go back to the strategy i used to compare -- prepare for the first debate. i am kidding. i want to make you sweat. [laughter] in all seriousness, i could not be more honored to be here this evening. i am honored to be with leaders in both the private and public sectors, particularly the extraordinary work done by the catholic church. [applause]
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it is written in scripture that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance character, and character, hope. this country has fought through very tough years together. we have come as far as we have mainly because the perseverance and character of ordinary americans. it says something about who we are as people that at the middle of an election season, opposing candidates can share the same stage. people from all parties come together to support a worthy cause high. i want to thank governor romney for joining me because i admire him very much as a family man and a loving father and those are two titles that will always matter more than any political ones.
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[applause] we may have different political perspectives. i am certain we share the hope that the next four will have the same decency and the same willingness to come together for a higher purpose that are on display this evening. may we all in the words of al smith do our full duty as citizens. god bless you, your family, and the united states of america. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> we come to the main event. [laughter] we turn to our host for closery remarks and benediction. ladies and gentlemen, the arch bishop of new york. [applause] >> it does traditionally fall to the host of this evening to call it tonight. thank you everybody for your gracious company this beautiful evening. what a unique honor to welcome and thank president obama and governor and mrs. romney.
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[applause] our two candidates claim both of your parties, the republicans and democrats, are big, containing extraordinary perverse, even contrary an opposite groups. you two do not have anything over the catholic church. we have both biden and ryan. [laughter] governor romney, thank you i was hoping the republican canada might be governor christie. i would have looked a lot better sitting next to him. mr. president, i trust you will be able to report to mrs. obama that i ate my vegetables and salads. if she had been first lady when i was growing up in the '50s, i
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would not be in the shape i am in. as many of you may know, i just returned from rome a couple hours ago, where i am burt dissipating in the senate of distance. thanks to the jet, i will be able to return to rome after the conclusion of this evening's meal. [applause] by the way, just before i left this morning, " bennett to it -- pope benedict the 16 pulled me aside and asked me to deliver a message to both candidates. mr. president, governor romney, do you know what the holy father asked me to tell the two of you? neither do i.. he said it in latin. [laughter] when you think about it, only this dinner could bring together two men of the same colin who disagree on almost
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everything, both of whom think they are the world's experts on everything, who do not usually even like being in the same room together. roger and chris matthews. it is amazing. [applause] the al smith dinner, in thanking all of you for your presence and support, might i suggest this annual dinner actually shows the united states of america and the catholic church at their best. think about it. here we are, in an atmosphere of civility and humor, posted fittingly by a church which claims joy is the infallible sign of god's presence, men and women, young and old of every ethnic and racial background, democrats, republicans, independents, catholics, protestants, jews, latter-day
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saints, people of no particular creed, people of wealth, but some folks here as well who barely get by, the guests from westchester and the bronx, staten island, grateful all of us to be people of faith and will americans. loving a country which considers a religious liberty our first and most cherished freedom, convince faith is not just limited to an hour of sabbath worship, but affects everything we do and dream. [applause] privileged this evening to be in the company of two honorable men, will call to the noble the location of public servants whose love for god and country is to pass -- surpassed only by the love of their own wives and children can to are as happy as i hope they are to be here this evening, probably much rather
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be home to be with michelle and their families. that speaks volumes. all of us recall a man of deep catholic faith and patriotism who had a tear in his irish eyes for what we would call the un's of the world, the unemployed, uninsured, unwanted, unwed mother, the fragile unborn baby in her womb, the undocumented, the unhoused, the unhealthy, the unfed, the under educated. government, al smith believed, should be on the side of these un's. [applause]
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but a government, he also believed, partnering with family, church, parish, neighborhood, organizations in the community, never intruded or opposing. when all is said and done, it is in god we trust, not in god -- not in politics. al smith, the happy warrior, and a warrior on behalf of the un's so close to jesus, women of new york who will be declared saints. [applause] so tenderly close to a blessed mother, theresa, who reminded us all to remember the five- figure gospel.
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as often as you do it one of these, the five-figure gospel, the least of my brethren, you do it to me. god bless -- here is my closing benediction. simple, heartfelt. god bless the memory of al smith, god bless the un's, god bless all of you, our two candidates, america, and thank god for this great evening. good night, and god bless. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, let's have a warm, rousing ovation for our speakers, our cardinal. [applause] >> thank you, governor. >> good to see you. >> that was great. >> four good speeches. >> thank you. great. >> unbelievable. >> thank you very much.
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>> unbelievable. it was the best. >> wrote to the white house event we are covering only c- span. at 11:45, vice-president joe biden campaign in florida. at 4:45, new jersey gov. chris kriski attends a mitt romney event in richmond, virginia. >> up next, on "washington journal" we will look at the foreign policy positions of the candidates with matthew lee and guy taylor.